T-20: High return levels high ad rates

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 26, 2007
If the ad rates for the Twenty20 Cup were unheard of, the return on investment has been equally big

A shorter & #BANNER1 & # format, nail-biting finishes, music on the sidelines, a full house and an India-Pakistan dream final. ICC couldn't have asked for more before the tournament, especially after a disappointing World Cup earlier this year. If comparison is drawn between the WC and T-20 in terms of ad rates, RoI, ticket sales, and on-field action, T-20 surely wins hands down.

"The ICC WC was no comparison in terms of viewership, thanks to the early exit of two of the most followed teams (India and Pakistan). In comparison, this tournament has been pretty lucky as most of the top teams have done really well and the India-Pak final was the icing on the cake," says Mona Jain, executive vice-president, ZenithOptimedia.

In terms of return on investment (RoI), media planners are grinning from ear to ear. With rates as high as Rs 3,50,000 per 10 second commercial for India's matches, only high TVRs could have justified such an investment. "The response has been overwhelming and the tournament grew from match to match," says Basabdutta Chowdhary, CEO, Madison Media Plus.

Television advertisement rates have hit the roof, especially after India's recent good performances in South Africa, Ireland and England, which have raised the game to the same level that it enjoyed before the World Cup debacle.

"If we look at the TVRs of certain matches in the T-20, you can justify the high ad rates, but again, the high TVRs were limited to India's matches," adds Jain of ZenithOptimedia.

According to the figures revealed by TAM, the India-Pakistan round robin match managed a TVR of 7.24, which media experts say was quite high. "Looking at the kind of expectations people had from the two teams before the tournament and the new format, it was very pleasant to see such numbers," says Madison's Chowdhary.

Manish Porwal, managing director, Starcom India, West and South, has a different point of view: "Instead of measuring the success by RoI, I'd like to measure it by RoO (reach of operations), which according to me has been tremendous." Porwal expects that the TVRs for the finals would have risen beyond 15, which would represent a whopping reach.

That was the difference between the ICC WC and T-20, pointed out Jain. "ICC WC started off pretty well, but didn't manage to live up to expectations thanks to the off-field controversies that marred the tournament. Unlike WC, T-20 started off on a slow note, but picked up in the super eight and semi-final stages."

As per TAM records, ICC WC's inaugural match between West Indies and Pakistan recorded a TVR of 5.46; in comparison, the inaugural match of the T-20 Cup between West Indies and South Africa managed a TVR of 1.99. The latter part of the ICC WC saw viewership fall dramatically, with TVRs falling to as low as 0.5 for certain Super 8 matches. The WC final between Sri Lanka and Australia could only manage a TVR of 1.97. In contrast, T-20 TVRs rose constantly.

Says Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG India, "The high ad rates are justified, given the kind of attention these matches got. Nobody knew it would be a thrilling series with a dream final that India would win. If the broadcaster had a clue about the climax, the rate would have been even higher. Judging by the kind of action we saw on the field, the rates were justified."

If one compares the TV ad rates for the two tournaments, ICC WC had a 10 second TV spot on SET Max at Rs 1.5-2 lakh, while T-20 saw a high rate of Rs 3 lakh on ESPN and STAR Cricket owing to limited opportunities to advertise between the matches. Add to that the last minute inventory for the finals, which was reportedly sold for Rs 7-10 lakh per 10 seconds.

If we look at the past India-Pakistan matches, the two teams played each other in two series last year - the DLF Cup telecast on Zee Sports/Doordarshan and the Hutch Cup on Ten Sports/Doordarshan. In both the tournaments, the TVRs recorded were quite impressive - 4.86 and 7.49, respectively.